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A Legend with Humble Origins
A family legacy turned into a 150 year old start-up
How Celaya started making TequilaHow Celaya started making Tequila
The storied history of Celaya Tequila begins in Mexico, on the porch of a rural Sonora ranch in the late 1800s.

There sits our great-great-grandfather, Jose Celaya, in the shade of the oppressive Mexican sun, sampling the very first batch of his homemade tequila. He is pleased.

As the story goes, word of this modest, unknown rancher’s remarkable spirit spread and life for Jose Celaya was never the same. Lines of villagers, merchants and dignitaries stretched from his door. Countless children in the town were named Jose in his honor, making classrooms quite confusing. On the occasion the local cantina ran low, it was not uncommon for men to draw pistols over rights to the last bottle – an unfortunate practice that gave rise to the term, “shot of tequila.” And it was said that US President and tequila connoisseur Grover Cleveland sent a team of delegates in a wagon laden with gold, seeking only a peek at Jose’s secret recipe. They were politely turned away and began the long trip home. Although a few who had tried his tequila stayed and applied for Mexican citizenship.

Pouring Celaya TequilaPouring Celaya Tequila

And so it was that Jose Celaya would labor over his sputtering still, producing his famous tequila until the day he died. They found him holding a piña bulb, with a smile on his face. Some say he was relieved to be free of it. Others say the smile was proof certain of a life well lived.

Tequila BottleTequila Bottle
Matt and Ryan in a fieldMatt and Ryan in a field

Now, these were stories told to us by our grandmother Frecia Celaya, who had a gift for regaling and was known to sip her tequila every now and again. But it’s not hard to believe that Jose’s porch was certainly popular among family and friends. And that people would gather there - talking, singing, laughing - and raising that inimitable agave elixir to the sky in celebration of life. Whatever the truth may be, it was obviously some pretty darn good tequila.

This is all to say that for us, tequila is much more than a spirit. It’s woven into the fabric of our history. It’s there in every important moment. Tequila represents the companionship of family and friends. It symbolizes love and laughter. Hardship and joy. Sacred tradition and the welcoming of new experiences. As we see it, tequila is life, distilled into its purest form.

Today, well over a century after Jose’s makeshift distillery produced its first few drops, we are grateful to our abuela for rekindling a passion for tequila in yet another generation. And we’re proud to honor the legacy. As you enjoy our premium small-batch tequila, we invite you to share it with those you love. And we hope you take from it everything that’s gone into it.

From our family to yours ... ¡Salud! - Matt and Ryan

Pouring TequilaPouring Tequila
If something's worth doing, it’s worth doing well.